The People First Party (親民黨, Pinyin: Qīnmíndǎng) is a political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan. It was founded by James Soong and his supporters after his failed independent bid for the presidency in 2000. Soong is currently the chairman and dominates much of its politics. Its title, Qīnmín, literally means "Close-to-People" and has Confucian connotations.
The party maintains a close but tense relationship with the Kuomintang as part of the pan-blue coalition. After the expulsion of Lee Teng-hui in 2001, the Kuomintang began espousing policies more closely associated with Chinese reunification and thus the KMT and the PFP are competing for the same set of voters. However, the electoral dynamics of Taiwan are such so that if both parties run strong campaigns, the vote is split and the pan-green coalition wins. This dynamic in which both the KMT and PFP must simulataneously compete and cooperate with each other has led to complex and interesting politics.
In several notable cases, this has led to situations in which both parties have run candidates, but close to the election the party with the less popular candidate unofficially drops out of the race. This in turn has led to some notable situations when either the PFP or the KMT is campaigning against its own candidate, which has led to intra-party resentment.
To avoid a repeat of this effect, which led to the election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian to the presidency, Chairman Soong is running vice-president on KMT Chairman Lien Chan's presidential ticket in the ROC presidential election, 2004.
There are five departments in the headquarters:
- Policy Research Center (政策研究中心 Zhèngcè Yánjiù Zhōngxīn),
- Organizational Department (組織部 Zǔzhī Bù),
- Public Relation Department (文宣部 Wénxuān Bù),
- Executive Department (行政部 Xíngzhèng Bù), and
- Treasury Department (財務部 Cáiwù Bù)
See also: Politics of Taiwan